Dell, Inspired by Apple, Warming to Virtualization

Dell, taking a page from Appleis playbook, is turning to virtualization to provide customers what they want and promote the use of Linux on business and consumer desktops, according to Information Week on Wednesday.

Dellis CTO, Kevin Kettler, gave a keynote presentation on Tuesday at LinuxWorld in San Francisco. In it, he provided a vision for driving Linux adoption on the desktop.

According to Mr. Kettler, the key is to give customers everything they want, whether its Windows, Linux or both. Virtualization software can do that, and Mr. Kettler called upon the open source community to help make that happen.

Just as Appleis Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop have removed barriers to running applications from both Mac and Windows, Dell aims to do the same thing with Linux and Windows, and Mr. Kettler said that Dellis researchers are working on a hypervisor that will enable them to do just that.

"This is what we think is the future of computing on the business client," Mr. Kettler said. During the keynote, Mr. Kettler demoed a Dell Optiplex 745 running Vista, XP, and Suse Linux with the XenSource hypervisor. However, no time table for Dellis formal implementation was provided.

Linux has had a tough time making headway against Windows, and a virtualization environment may be just what Dell needs to satisfy their customers. Perhaps what those customers have really been clamoring for is the happy marriage of a secure Unix OS and the ability to launch Windows applications.

TMO notes that Parallels also sells "Workstation," that runs on Both Windows XP, Vista, and Linux that achieves the same goals for those who donit want to wait for Dellis solution.